Disability Insurance Reduces Workers' Comp Claims, Studies Show

Disability insurance can reduce costs for employers.

No matter how diligent an employer is about workplace safety, accidents happen. Workplace accidents—and employees who lose time due to workers’ compensation claims—can damage company morale and cost employers additional time and money. HR Executive Thinks About Disability Insurance Benefits

However, a recent report shows that 47 percent of large companies who offer disability insurance (DI) show a decrease in workers’ comp claims. In addition, 43 percent of small businesses and 33 percent of mid-sized companies reported a drop in claims. The reduction in claims was substantial for all companies: 15 percent of all employers reported declines of 50 percent or more, and 15 percent reported declines of 25 to 49 percent.

Disability insurance, including mandatory or enhanced DBL coverage in New York, TDB in New Jersey and TDI in Hawaii, as well as private Short Term Disability and Long-Term Disability, typically pays faster than workers’ comp cases, and it’s easier for employees to file a claim. It’s no wonder employees would rather be paid through insurance coverage, especially when the broker can walk them through the claims process and provide white-glove service every step of the way!

In addition, employees could wait months for a workers’ compensation claim to begin paying. Most people cannot live without a paycheck—especially as medical bills begin to add up. After a one-week waiting period in New York, employees can begin collecting DBL benefits for up to 26 consecutive weeks.

Disability Coverage: A Smart Financial Choice for Employers

It’s faster and easier for employees to file disability insurance claims than workers’ compensation claims. And it’s also faster and easier for employers, with less paperwork to fill out. Additionally, many workers’ compensation cases end up in court to prove the extent of the injuries. Disability insurance claims do not require the business to retain legal counsel to defend itself in a workers’ comp case, saving employers both time and money.

While it should be obvious that workers’ comp only applies to on-the-job injuries, the reduction in claims when other options, such as state-mandated disability coverage, short-term disability, or long-term disability insurance—is offered might make HR directors and other business leaders wonder about the incidence of workers’ compensation fraud. Fraudulent claims hurt everyone, costing employers in real dollars, wasted time, and damaged employee morale.

Disability Insurance Protects Employees from Any Illness or Injury

It’s important to reiterate that workers’ comp should only cover on-the-job accidents or injuries. But off-the-job injuries are far more likely to occur, with 729 people injured every 10 minutes, according to the National Safety Council. Businesses collectively lose more than $15 million from these injuries.

While a good disability benefits package won’t eliminate these costs, it can improve employee retention following an accident, and alleviate some of the financial burden on an injured or ill employee—perhaps resulting in a faster recovery and return to work.

Explore Your Disability Options with The DBL Center

If you own a business in the state of New York, New Jersey or Hawaii, you already provide your employees with mandatory disability coverage (DBL, TDB, and TDI, respectively.) An enhanced benefits package may help reduce workers’ comp claims further by enabling better claim service and greater benefits. Businesses in other states should also consider offering STD or LTD coverage to their employees to reduce workers’ comp claims and save money.

The DBL Center Ltd. can help.


The Right Dental Benefits Lead to Healthier Employees

Providing a strong dental benefits package may help improve the health of employees and reduce costs linked to employee illness.

CDC - Business Pulse Infographic on employee health and productivity
With the rising costs of employer-paid health insurance, not to mention the tangible costs of employee sick time, smart business owners focus on employee wellness as a way to increase productivity and reduce costs. From company gym memberships to serving healthy food in the employee cafeteria, there are a number of ways businesses can create a culture of health and fitness in the office.

But have you considered your employees’ dental coverage? Preventative dental care doesn’t just reduce sick days due to mouth pain or oral surgery. Studies show the advantages of good dental health extend to employees’ overall health. Poor dental health has been linked to a surprising number of other illnesses.

Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease

Periodontal disease and its predecessor, gingivitis, has been linked to heart disease. The bacteria that causes these diseases can enter the blood stream and travel to the heart, where it causes the arteries to harden. This condition has been linked to heart attacks and strokes, which are leading killers in the U.S. and also two of the most expensive health conditions in a workplace.

Gum Disease Can Cause Respiratory Infections

The bacteria present in the mouth of those with gum disease doesn’t just affect the heart. Breathing in these harmful bacteria can cause respiratory infections, including pneumonia.

Diabetes Complications

Medical professionals aren’t sure why, but diabetics with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, which can increase many of the health risks associated with diabetes. Treating gum disease as soon as it’s detected can help those with diabetes live healthier lives.

Link Between Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease

New research shows that taking steps to prevent gum disease, such as brushing and flossing regularly and seeing a dentist twice a year, may also help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s possible that the higher levels of antibodies present to fight periodontal bacteria in those with gum disease leads to inflammation in other parts of the body, including the brain, which can speed cognitive decline. With the vast number of older Americans in the workforce today, slowing or preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s should be a consideration in any organization concerned about the overall health of their employees.

The Mouth: A Gateway to Better Health

Just as poor dental health can cause a number of other illnesses gum disease may also be an indication of other diseases. Regular dentist visits may help detect underlying problems, including heart disease, that require a doctor’s care.

Offering employees good dental benefits as part of an ancillary group benefits package encourages regular dentist visits, cleanings, and other preventative maintenance, which can improve a person’s overall health. And healthier employees are more productive employees.

Consider these facts:

Productivity losses due to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion

      Employers lose $150 to $250 billion in productivity when sick employees come to work

 

    Companies with better health, safety, and environmental programs outperform their competitors

A good dental benefits package with low premiums and a focus on coverage for preventative care can save your company money in the long run.

The DBL Center can link you with a best-in-class insurance carrier to provide the dental benefits and other ancillary group benefits your employees need to stay healthy and productive.


Three Reasons Insurance Brokers Should Add 401K Retirement Plans to Their Offerings

Selling 401K retirement plans to your existing customers is all a matter of trust.

Business owners will buy 401K retirement plans from advisors they trust.

You may have heard about a number of small businesses being sued for their poor choices in 401K retirement plans. Frustrated over high fees, poorly performing funds, and perceived conflicts of interest, employees are suing their employers for the lack of solid retirement savings options.

But not all 401K funds are bad. It’s all about finding a trustworthy 401K advisor.

Many employers are taking a proactive stance and shopping around to offer alternative 401K options to their employees in order to avoid a lawsuit and improve worker satisfaction. In short, they are looking for a benefits expert they can trust to provide 401K funds and other retirement options.

Insurance brokers specializing in DBL coverage and ancillary group benefits have a tremendous opportunity to expand their book of business with 401K retirement plans for small businesses and large corporations. If you’re already practicing consultative selling (which you should be!) you have a large client base of business owners and HR directors who trust your advice.

You don’t have to be a retirement investment expert to provide your customers with funds they can trust. Turn to The DBL Center to help.

1. Don’t lose business to financial advisors.

Employees are suing business owners in class action suits for poorly performing 401Ks, but it’s not a business owner’s job to be a retirement investment expert. It is, however, their responsibility to choose a financial advisor or benefits expert they can trust to offer quality funds that provide their employees with some level of financial security in their retirement. That’s why smart business owners, right now, are seeking investment experts they can trust.

Insurance brokers who do business with The DBL Center can take advantage of our in-house 401K expert to select the best retirement plans for their customers. If a business already trusts you, as a broker, to provide their other benefits, they will trust your choice of retirement funds.

2. Let us do the work while you cash the commission checks.

401K investments present the opportunity for insurance brokers to expand their book of business with a new revenue stream by leveraging their insurance wholesaler’s expertise. You can provide your small business and corporate clients with reliable 401K investments they can trust.

The DBL Center serves as your back-office staff to manage your clients’ investments, while the commission checks go straight to you. Our in-house 401K retirement expert ensures you’re offering your clients plans that meet their needs and their budgets.

3. Shop your clients’ 401K retirement plans and other group benefits at the same time.

While you’re discussing 401K plans with your customers, it’s a good time to shop their other ancillary group benefits to see if you can find a better deal. Business owners might consider upgrading their NYS mandatory DBL coverage to an enriched DBL package, adding vision and dental coverage to their ancillary group benefits, or providing the option of Group Life / AD&D coverage to their employees.

Comprehensive Benefits Packages Attract New Customers, Too

Selling 401K retirement plans to your existing clients is practically a no-brainer with The DBL Center by your side to help.

By positioning your brokerage firm as a comprehensive benefits expert, you can attract new customers looking to provide their employees with a better 401K offering. Take the opportunity to show them the advantages of enriched DBL coverage and ancillary group benefits and grow your business in multiple directions at the same time.

Adding 401K benefits to your offerings? Let The DBL Center help.


Michael Cohen of The DBL Center Addresses HR Directors about Ancillary Benefits

Survey says: Employees want ancillary benefits.

The DBL Center in the News
HR directors, recruiters, small business owners, and CEOs, especially in the fields of healthcare and the tech sector, where top employees are in high demand, frequently seek ways to differentiate their company and attract the best talent.

Some companies resort to gimmicks, others to generous BYOD policies that leave their IT departments scrambling and their systems at a security risk, but nearly every top company wants to find easy, affordable ways to entice employees.

Additionally, companies struggle with maintaining a desirable corporate culture and high employee morale.

The smartest organizations often find the answers to the recruiting and retention dilemmas in competitive benefits packages.

With health insurance premiums on the rise, many employers are filling the gaps with ancillary coverage in the form of vision coverage, dental benefits, and Group Life / AD&D insurance for their employees. We see this in action everyday here at The DBL Center, as we write hundreds of policies each month ancillary benefits and enriched DBL coverage for insurance brokers, as well as our direct corporate customers.

That’s why when DBL Center partner Michael Cohen had the opportunity to share his thoughts with top recruiting and job finding site, CareerCo.com, he didn’t hesitate. In an informative piece designed to educate HR directors and CEOs on additional benefits they can offer to raise employee morale and improve recruiting and retention, Cohen touted the advantages of life insurance, vision, and dental coverage. You can read the full article, and learn about the five benefits that help companies attract top talent, here.

As The DBL Center grows, with our new website, a newsletter, weekly tips and insight on the state of the insurance industry, and new clients every day, we are in an even better position to help our customers. It’s all part of the white glove service we provide to brokers every day as a top insurance wholesaler.

From mentoring and guiding new brokers, managing an experienced brokers’ book of business so he can continue his own expansion, or reaching out directly to those who make the insurance purchasing decisions to help them with their choices, we are here to do so much more than sell insurance. We are here to share our knowledge and experience in order to help our customers earn more commission and help the industry to grow.

Look for more from us, on this page, through social media channels, and across the web,  as we share our views on enhanced disability coverage, ancillary group benefits, and how to make it all work for you, whether you’re a broker or a buyer.

Would you like to connect with us? Follow us on LinkedIn or reach out here with questions, comments, or topics you’d like to see us cover.


“Meternity” Book Spotlights Shortcomings in Employee Benefits

Today’s HR directors can provide equitable employee benefits to all.

If you or your spouse has read or seen the new novel “Meternity,” you might find the premise unrealistic – if not completely ridiculous. The book’s author, Meghann Foye believes women who choose not to have children should still receive paid time off during their child-bearing years. She wrote a novel exploring what might happen if a 30-something worker faked a pregnancy to claim her “meternity” leave. “[A]s I watched my friends take their real maternity leaves, I saw that spending three months detached from their desks made them much more sure of themselves,” Foye writes in the NY Post.

But rather than revealing how unfair maternity leave is to childless workers, the book, in fact, succeeds to showcase the shortcomings in minimum employee benefits across the board. And the insurance industry is in a good space to help HR directors and CEO solve these problems.

Current Disability Benefits Law in NY

In New York, employees currently file for maternity leave under disability benefits law, which entitles new mothers to receive up to $170 per week for 26 weeks, maximum. Depending on their salary, this amount may be much lower, as DBL is calculated as 50 percent of the claimant’s average weekly pay. Many parents can’t afford this level of pay cut, so choose to stay home only 12 weeks; most day care facilities accept children as young as three months, but not younger than that.

With the introduction of federal mandatory Paid Family Leave benefits next year, maternity packages will be more enticing. But for now, creating fair maternity leave policies – as well as equitable benefits packages for the rest of their employees – is in the hands of business owners.

Enriched DBL Gives Mothers and Babies the Time They Deserve Until Paid Family Leave Goes Into Effect

Do working moms really get better employee benefits?
Employers have the choice to offer more than the minimum DBL coverage. An enriched DBL package in New York can bring the percentage of benefits closer to the employee’s salary. Enriched DBL could mean new parents — today, two years before PFL goes into effect — may not have to cut corners as much at a time when their living expenses increased because they had to add the cost of diapers, baby products, and additional medical coverage and care to the family budget.

Enriched DBL also makes it possible for new mothers to take their full 26 weeks, going back to work when the baby is six months old instead of just three. Of course, it’s not like babies are self-sufficient at this age, but they are more interactive and many are sleeping through the night – which makes getting up in the morning to go to work that much easier from a physical perspective.

Enhancing Your Other Employee Benefit Packages

But let’s get back to that book that casts a resentful eye on working mothers everywhere. Certainly, some employees do feel resentment toward working parents, but anyone who has friends who are working moms – or who has ever had a conversation with a mom about work/life balance – knows it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Parents don’t look forward to missing days of work due to children’s illnesses or leaving early for school meetings. In fact, they begin to fear their job security and it can make it harder for them to get ahead in a competitive workplace.

However, as we all know in the business world, appearance and perception matters. If your other employees harbor resentment toward members of your workforce, it’s time to make a change.

Short of providing a paid sabbatical to childless workers, ask them what kind of benefits they’d prefer. Maybe it’s a better retirement plan. Or group life insurance coverage for themselves and a spouse. Maybe your employees are unhappy with their health care coverage and would like ancillary benefits like dental and vision.

Bundled with enriched DBL coverage in New York, these benefits become very affordable. Talk to your insurance broker or contact The DBL Center, today, and we will connect you with a trusted partner who can help.


Ancillary Benefits: Top 3 Easy Up-sells for Insurance Agents to Earn More Commission

Ancillary Benefits More Commission

How Ancillary Benefits Like Dental Insurance, Group Life / AD&D, and Disability Coverage Will Make Your Customers Happy

With the profound effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the insurance industry, smart insurance agents are looking to ancillary benefit sales to make up for lost profits and earn more commission with less work. (Let’s be honest… isn’t that an ideal scenario for everyone?)

The fact is, few people – from insurance agents to HR directors and small business owners – are happy with the side effects of the ACA. Benefits have been reduced, deductibles raised, and out-of-pocket expenses for both businesses and their employees have gone up. Insurance agents, employees, and business owners are getting less for more.

Fortunately, long-term disability coverage (in the form of NYS DBL coverage, NJ TDB insurance, and Hawaii TDI) as well as ancillary benefits like Dental and Group Life/AD&D insurance are helping business owners and HR directors make up for the benefits loss in other ways, enabling them to continue to recruit and retain top talent, while allowing insurance agents to earn additional income.

Through our best-in-class carriers, The DBL Center offers a variety of ancillary products and enhanced disability benefits packages that make it easy for insurance agents to upsell to existing customers.

Dental Insurance

In a recent survey, 68 percent of employees polled about benefits wanted dental coverage.

Yet, fewer than half of small-to-midsize businesses offer this benefit, says DBL Center Partner Michael Cohen. Since a healthy smile can also lead to greater success, especially in organizations with a heavy emphasis on sales, dental coverage represents a win-win-win for employers, their employees, and the insurance agents who sell dental insurance as part of an ancillary benefits package.

Long-Term Disability Coverage

The coverage goes by different names in different states but, whatever the name, enhanced disability coverage provides more than the state mandated maximum for income replacement if an employee is injured, ill, or gives birth. (This is not to be confused with the new Paid Family Leave coverage New York is phasing in through 2021, which provides paid time off after the birth or adoption / fostering of a child, or to care for an aging loved one).

It’s easy to see why this is a “win” for insurance carriers, because the claims are less frequent than, for instance, medical or dental coverage, and end after a specified time period. From an insurance agent’s perspective, you can offer your customers a lot of additional coverage for a small amount of money so they can see that it’s a good investment. Tiered plans give executives – the decision-makers when it comes to purchasing benefits plans – the greatest amounts of coverage.

Group Life / AD&D Coverage
Another popular “upsell” for insurance agents who are already offering their customers health care and disability coverage, life insurance policies can offer substantial coverage with a low, pre-tax investment. Again, tiered plans give executives the best coverage available. Employers can choose to match employee contributions, or simply offer low out-of-pocket premiums to employees.

Consultative Selling: The Key to Higher Commission

Adding these ancillary benefits and enhanced disability coverage to your existing policies isn’t hard using a consultative selling approach. By offering top-level, white glove service to your customers through The DBL Center’s back office, you’ll solidify the trust they have in you. From there, you can review the best benefits packages and make recommendations that fit your client’s unique needs, based on the demographics of their employees and their individual needs.

Customize packages for your clients with the ancillary benefits their employees want. Let The DBL Center help you now.


Paid Family Leave Joins DBL as Mandatory Benefit in New York State

 rsz_family_spending_time_together

Effective January 1, 2018, New York joins the progressive states of California, New Jersey and Rhode Island to require mandatory Paid Family Leave for all qualifying employees. This affects all business owners in New York State, not just those with 50+ employees.
If you’re an insurance broker already providing Disability Benefits Law (DBL) coverage or enhanced DBL, your clients may have questions about this new benefit. First, it’s important to understand that PFL is not the same as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA only secures an employee’s job and does not provide additional funds should an employee have to take a leave of absence due to childbirth, caring for a disabled child or caring for an older family member. A federal program, FMLA only applies to employers with 50+ employees.

Who Qualifies for PFL?

Unlike FMLA, PFL mandates up to 12 weeks of job-protected, paid leave for all New York employees, regardless of the size of the company, for any of the following reasons:

-bonding with and caring for a newborn, adopted, or foster care child during the first 12 months
– caring for a seriously ill family member
– addressing important needs related to a family member’s military service.

The Specifics of PFL

To qualify for PFL benefits, a full-time employee must have worked 26 or more consecutive weeks. Part-time employees must have worked 175 days. PFL benefits will be phased in over time to reach the maximum paid leave, never exceeding a percentage of the state’s average weekly wage (AWW), beginning January 1, 2018. Benefit amounts are as follows:

Beginning January 2018: 50 percent of the employee’s AWW for 8 weeks
Beginning January 2019: 55 percent of the employee’s AWW for 10 weeks
Beginning January 2020: 60 percent of the employee’s AWW for up to 10 weeks
Beginning January 2021 and on: 67 percent of the employee’s AWW up to 12 weeks

What Else Your Customers Need to Know About PFL

Employees are permitted – but not required – to use their accrued vacation time or PTO in addition to PFL benefits, but cannot claim DBL and PFL at the same time. PFL benefits begin on the first full day the employee requires paid family leave. When possible, the employee should give 30 days’ notice, but if this isn’t possible, such as in the event of a family emergency, or a premature birth, they should let the employer know as soon as possible. In either case, benefits can start on the first day off. The PFL benefit is funded by a nominal employee contribution; employers are not required to fund any portion of the PFL benefit. However, employers must invest in a policy that covers both DBL and PFL benefits under the same policy, but, as of right now, New York State Disability Benefits Law will not change under this new legislation. This could be the first step in legislation that would increase the statutory benefit in phases. That’s why it’s a great opportunity to evaluate your customers’ DBL coverage now to prepare for what may come.

Why It Matters to Insurance Brokers

As you re-write your customers’ DBL policies to cover PFL in preparation for January 2018 and beyond, this represents an opportunity to employ consultative selling techniques to increase your customers’ DBL policies with Enhanced DBL coverage.

Keep in mind: Employers are not required to fund PFL coverage, so no money comes out of their pockets as their employees’ benefit coverage improves. This is a great time to re-evaluate your customers’ DBL coverage. Are they doing enough for their loyal employees? What if you could increase the employees’ nominal contributions just a bit more, beyond PFL coverage, and provide an enhanced DBL policy that offers expanded benefits and more flexibility in how employees collect those benefits? Employers might even be willing to match employee contributions for a more robust enhanced DBL policy.

These are pre-tax benefits, and with the 2016 presidential election coming up, the future remains uncertain. Will taxes go up for the working middle class to fund programs the new president may support? Employees and employers alike will be looking for additional ways to reduce their tax liability.  Increasing insurance coverage for events that are likely to occur (and may even be planned), such as the birth of a child, a spouse’s military service, or the illness of an aging parent, provides a peace-of-mind that is hard for middle class, working Americans to find in today’s economic climate.

Why This Is Important for America

The new PFL requirements fill an important space today. These benefits affect every generation of worker, as “sandwich generation” or Generation X, and Baby Boomer employees face hardships caring for aging loved ones, and younger GenX and Millennial workers may plan to start families through childbirth or adoption.

Today’s insurance brokers are in a unique position to support a program that supports American families, while increasing their own commissions through consultative selling of PFL and enhanced DBL benefits in New York.


What Can Employees Do When Temporary Disability Runs Out?

Business owners in New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii must provide temporary disability payments for up to 26 weeks to employees who are ill, injured, or had a baby. But 26 weeks is not a long time for a person with a significant injury or a life-changing illness. Where can employees turn when temporary disability (DBL coverage in New York, TDB in New Jersey, and TDI in Hawaii) runs out?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Some people with an illness or injury may try to apply for Social Security benefits. However, to qualify for Social Security / Disability benefits, you must be unable to work for at least one year, or have an illness that will lead to death. The time between 26 weeks and a year is a long span to live without any income if you are unable to work. That’s where income replacement insurance – purchased privately or through the employer – comes in.

One of The DBL Center’s insurance broker partners in your area can assist with these types of coverage.

Why Healthy Individuals Need Disability Coverage

The Social Security Administration estimates that a 20-year-old employee faces a three in ten chance of becoming disabled before age 65. Other reports say one in four workers becomes disabled during their working life. These odds increase for heavy smokers, people who are overweight, or those who have a chronic condition such as heart disease,diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Yet, only 45 percent of millennial workers have long-term disability insuranceApril-Post-1-TD-Runs-Out, according to The Hartford Financial Service Group. More than 20 percent of millennials said they would need help from family or friends or move back in with their parents if they were unable to work due to illness or injury, while another 20 percent would have to rely on credit cards or borrowing against their 401K retirement account.

While employees don’t want to consider being one of the 25 to 30 percent of people who become disabled, it’s a reality. And most disabilities are caused by illness, not injury. Knowing they are protected, whether through private income replacement insurance or employer-funded temporary disability benefits offers peace-of-mind and greater financial security.

Extended Disability Coverage through the Employer

As the person in charge of the purse strings, you may wonder why you’d want to invest in additional insurance coverage that will pay out to your employees but not offer your company any real benefit?

The cost to the company is actually very small, especially if you purchase coverage as part of extended disability benefits. Extended disability coverage not only increases the length of time employees may be covered, but can provide more than the state maximum in benefits. Employers may collect up to 75 percent of their salary – enough to live on, in most cases –through enhanced disability benefits.

This benefits package may entice help entice star talent, but, more importantly, it can help you retain high-quality employees after they bounce back from an illness or injury. If your company took care of them in their time of need, they will return to work with a degree of loyalty. In fact, due to the strain financial difficulties place on person’s health, having disability coverage to provide for themselves and their family could, in fact, help make a return to work after injury or illness possible.

Private Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance

For self-employed contractors or individuals whose companies don’t provide extended disability coverage, insurance brokers offer long-term disability or income replacement insurance. Since the premiums on this insurance are paid out-of-pocket, the disability income is not taxable, so claimants receive their full benefits when they need the money most.

The Choice Is Yours

As the business owner or person in charge of HR decisions for the company, the decision to provide extended or enhanced disability coverage lies in your hands. Weigh cost factors with the intangible benefits of employee recruiting and retention.

Keep in mind that disability coverage doesn’t have to be “all-or-nothing.” You can give your employees the option to buy into a policy with lower premiums than they would get if they purchased individual disabilityon their own. Or you can split the cost with them. Since this is a pre-tax benefit, some employees may enjoy the tax benefits, too, although it means they will have to pay taxes on their disability income if they ever make a claim.

However you choose to structure the offerings, consider making extended disability coverage part of your employee benefits package. Contact your insurance broker to help you explore your options.


Seeing the Truth about Vision Coverage

Have you considered offering vision coverage to your customers as a logical upsell to their insurance benefits package?

Vision Coverage

Approximately 75 percent of all adults use glasses or contacts for corrective vision, says a report from the Vision Council of America. With daily wear, disposable contact lenses costing more than $100 for a 6-month supply, and annual eye exams costing between $50 and $100, it’s no wonder 53 percent of employees want vision coverage, according to this infographic compiled by Namely, an all-in-one HR platform. Yet, just 35 percent of employers offer this ancillary benefit. Why is this figure so low?

The Perception of Vision Coverage

Quite simply, employers don’t see the value in offering vision coverage to their employees. Yet, there are many good reasons to provide vision coverage as part of ancillary benefits. Let’s look at five eye-opening reasons for your customers to offer vision coverage to their employees. Share this evidence with your customers and they are sure to see it clearly, too. The additional sales will result in greater customer loyalty and increased commission for your insurance agency.

Better Vision Improves Productivity

The glare of a computer screen and the lighting afforded by fluorescent bulbs are bad enough in an office environment. Eyestrain, headaches, and poor vision are exacerbated when employees are wearing old glasses that may not be the right prescription for their changing vision. They may not understand why they have headaches all the time or need more frequent breaks away from the computer, until they go for an eye exam and realize they’ve been using the wrong prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Hard-working employees should never have to put off an eye exam due to the high costs of vision care. When vision benefits include annual exams and discounted corrective lenses, employees will be more productive.

The Eyes are the Gateway to Holistic Health

Annual eye exams by an ophthalmologist are important even for employees who don’t need corrective lenses. Eye exams can help detect such conditions as Graves’ Disease and certain skin cancers. The condition of someone’s eyes can hint at high cholesterol, autoimmune diseases and a number of other disorders. Early detection of these diseases can improve outcomes and lower healthcare costs for everyone. Eye exams should be part of preventative care for everyone, but employees may shy away from an exam if it’s not covered by insurance.

Employers Can Fill Gaps in Healthcare Coverage with Vision as an Ancillary Benefit

The Affordable Care Act has forced many organizations to reduce their healthcare coverage. Vision and dental benefits were previously offered as part of a company’s healthcare plan. Employers can fill this gap by providing vision coverage as an ancillary benefit so that employees don’t feel the sting of having their benefits reduced.

Better Vision Benefits Give Employers a Recruiting Advantage

Because so few companies currently offer vision benefits, yet so many employees want it, firms
can give themselves a recruiting advantage with an ancillary benefits package that includes vision coverage.

Vision Benefits Increase Employee Loyalty

Eyeglass and contact lens wearers, as well as employees with conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, or diabetes, may hesitate to leave a company that offers good vision benefits. Vision care costs can add up to thousands, annually, especially for families with more than one corrective lens-wearer.

A good vision plan is a strong retention tool, especially for companies who employ many workers over 40 or people of any age with families.

Save Money on Vision Benefits with Multi-Line Discounts

You – and your customers – may be surprised by how affordable a good vision plan can be when you take advantage of multi-line discounts with The DBL Center Ltd. If your customers are already investing in enhanced disability coverage or dental with one of our premier carriers, they may as well enjoy the savings of a solid vision plan, as well.

Contact The DBL Center, Ltd. if you see the advantages of vision coverage as part of an ancillary benefits package.


Dental Insurance – How to Choose the Best Dental Benefits For Your Customers

As you know, here at DBL Center Ltd., we are proponents of consultative selling – digging deep to understand your client’s needs and then recommending the products that meet those needs. If you are currently selling enhanced disability coverage and want to expand your book of business to other ancillary benefits, dental insurance coverage is a logical next step.

Scientific evidence shows that gum disease (gingivitis), tooth decay and other oral problems may contribute to heart disease. Any dental insurance policy should include preventative care, including full coverage preventative and diagnostic care such as check-ups and X-rays, twice annual cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments.

What else should you look for in the best dental insuranceDental Insurance - The best dental coverage for your customers for your customers? On the surface, it may look as if plans are comparable, but when you start reading the fine print, you’ll realize that coverage levels and out of pocket costs can vary widely.

That’s where the DBL Center Ltd. and our InsuranceWholesaler.net site can help. As your insurance concierge, offering white glove one-on-one service for our brokers, we can help you choose the best dental plans for your customers – along with disability coverage, vision, Group Life/AD&D and more.

To get you started, here are some of the features you should look for in dental coverage.

Low Out-of-Pocket Costs

If going to the dentist becomes a financial burden, employees are less likely to go regularly, which can ultimately lead to time off work for dental care and even oral surgery, pain, and – as we mentioned above – a host of other medical issues, too.

Your customers and employees will appreciate a plan that pays for most services without sharing the costs with the patient. Some dental insurance carriers offer balance-billing plans, which are just discounts on services. Ideally, the plan you offer will cover most services and the patient will only be responsible for an affordable co-pay.

Additionally, the covered parties should not have to meet a large deductible or out-of-pocket maximum expense before coverage kicks in. Your customers save money on dental benefits by choosing a plan with a higher deductible, but it’s a risky proposition if they need emergency services like a root canal and can’t cover the deductible.

Choice of Dentists

Many people are adamant – even passionate – about their dental provider of choice. Look for a plan with plenty of choices in providers; you may want to offer your  customers a choice of a PPO and a more expensive Premier plan so they can decide.

A Vast Range of Coverage to Appeal to Employees at all Stages of Life

Just as not all dental insurance plans are the same, neither are all employees and their families. First, look at the demographics of your customer’s business. Is it stocked with Generation X-ers whose kids might need braces in the near future? Millennials who are primarily interested in preventative care? Or Boomers who may face extensive oral surgery and rely on preventative care to keep their teeth and bodies healthy?

If your customer employs a broad range of employees – as many companies today do – you’ll want to offer a comprehensive plan that covers all of these services with low out-of-pocket expenses and plenty of choices in providers, too.

It’s easy to find out – just ask. The owner or HR director may even want to offer their employees a survey to determine what kind of plan and coverage they would prefer and how much they are willing to spend for it, if the employer isn’t covering all premiums.

Multi-Line Discounts

Working with the DBL Center Ltd. will help you offer the lowest rates in dental insurance to your customers. We can write a comprehensive plan for disability insurance, dental, vision, and more, so you can take advantage of multi-line discounts.

Consultative Selling for Dental Benefits

A good insurance agent making the most of his or her consultative selling skills will work with their customers to help them determine their employee’s dental health, possible future needs, and overall budget for dental insurance, including costs paid by the employer and by the employee as a pre-tax ancillary benefit.

By placing the emphasis on preventative care and emphasizing the importance of dental health as part of a person’s overall well-being, you’ll be in a good position to increase your profits by selling dental benefits and know you’re offering your customers an important insurance product that will increase productivity around the office and contribute to the employer and employees’ peace-of-mind.